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Social Media and the News

Series/Special. The impact of social media on the news.

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01:30:00

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Us 21, Oakland 8, New York 4, Tunisia 3, Google 3, Atlanta 3, Washington 2, Npr 2, Boston 2, Kennedys 1, Uniti 1, Abc News 1, The Union 1, Ap 1, Ap So 1, Realtime 1, Has Gone From 1, Livign Ng 1, Distlation 1, Lee Saunders 1,
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  CSPAN    Social Media and the News    Series/Special. The impact  
   of social media on the news.  

    July 7, 2012
    11:40 - 1:10am EDT  

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others from violence. so removing the inequities. the second thing is to make sure the police and top officials in the community try to understand the problems of those in the neighborhoods where crime exists. we had a program in atlanta just called atlanta project and we found out that there were a third of atlanta city who were desperately need. and the policemen didn't live in that community. they had good enough jobs so they could live in the nice part of atlanta and there were officers and specialists didn't live in the community where the poor people lived although they were supposed to serve them. so i think that's a major part of it to try to do everything we can to let the poor and the wealthy feel we belong to the same community and give the support to the police and other whose try to give you a better life. >> well, i hope all of you feel as privileged as i do to have
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sat here and had an opportunity to listen to the hard-won wisdom in many cases of these -- and i'm going to tweet about this because it's going to be on line. right? and we want people to be able to have an opportunity to watch it. [applause] and perhaps they can be inspired, as i hope all of you have been, by these words of wisdom and i hope it does get you to think about how one person can make a difference and can bring about positive change whether it is in your community, whether it is in your home, or whether like these nobel peace prize winners throughout the world. an honor, a privilege. thank you.
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>> you did a great job. thank you. [applause] . [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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>> a look at how social media affects journalists. later, former presidents address world peace. on "newsmakers," lee saunders, newly elected president of the federation of state county and employees discusses his plans for the union, and other related issues. "newsmakers," sunday on c-span. >> we had pulled into the refueling, we had moored the ship to a peer. >> the former commanding officer of the cole on the events surrounding al qaeda's 2000 attack that left 17 dead
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and injured. >> i there was a thundrous explosion. you could feel all 505 feet and the tons of destroyer thrust up and to the right. it seemed we hung in the air, it was twisting and flexing we came back down into the water. lights went out. everything on my desk lifted up about a foot and slammed back down. i grabbed the underside of my desk in a brace position until i could stand up. >> more with front burner author sunday at 8:00 on c-span's q&a. >> now social media editors and journalists discuss the impact on news reporting.
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>> good january. i will be the moderator of the symposium. the symposium series is sponsored by the department of communications. it began in 1964 and it honors an aggressive and independent editor and executive with mclatchy newspapers who was known for never giving in to entrenched viewpoints. he was a progressive sort and i think he endorsed the subject of today's symposium and i know that he would be impressed by
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the star quality of the participants. so let me introduce them. christian was born in banglor and got a phd in human computer interaction from georgia tech. i'm pleased to say that he is on the board of visitors of the night's fellow sheps. andy, during the arab spring a huge twitter audience came to rely on his messages and tweets for news and information developing in the uprising. as cofounder of public media camp he has helped stations collaborate, work with techies
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and public media stands that collaborate on projects. before coming to npr he was director of the digital divide network. susan is cofounder, editor and publisher of oakland local.com a community news and training nonprofit that focuses on social justice issues. combines reported stories with community media and diverse voices. she cls sulted on the center for investigative reportings california watch project. will is executive director of yahoo news overseeing the room of 50 journalists with bureaus in new york, washington, and sunny vale. oversaw the staffing of the first politics bureau in washington and also manages the partnership with abc news.
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before coming to yahoo, he was editor at newsweek.com, the minneapolis star tribune and "new york times." really outstanding group we have here today. i don't think i have to tell you that we're in the midst of a social media revolution. hundreds of millions of people use the net working spaces at facebook, twitter and google plus. and not just to share cute cat photos. it's a lucrative field. by this time from, mark will officially be a ga zillion air. the premise of today's symposium is that these services are not as well known have had a major impact on the collection, distlation and distribution of news and information. the project in its annual state of the news media this year said that social media are
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important but not overwhelming driver of news at least not yet. let me quote from their report. no more than 10% of digital news consumers follow news recommendations from facebook or twitter very often. and almost all of those are still using other ways like going directly to the news web site as well. but there are many other indications that social media are radically altering the news landscape. word of the shooting of the representative giffords and the killing of osama bin laden and the death of donna so maniers today spreads virally. that's significant. reporters now use social media to find people and sources in breaking news situations as well as complicated stories. and when using these platforms to create a conversation around a running story whether to hone their own stories or to engage their audience, or both, i think we have to say that something revolutionary is
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happening and that's what we'll be exploring today. so let's get to it. we're going to dispense with formal preptations in favor of q&a and discussions. the hash tag is hash tag you notice the cameras. c-span plans to broadcast this sometime over memorial day weekend also on stanford. so wheven we move to questions please use the mike in the aisle over here. so i'm going to ask each of our participants to roughly address the same question which is for purposes of this discussion what are social media, what are the most significant social media platforms and what are the impacts on your news operation? and i'm going to begin with you. >> thank you. so there are many platforms out there and more coming up and they have different capabilities. what's more important in my opinion is the people that use
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these platforms who surround the news, produce the news or create the news or distribute the news or are in the news are continuing the news. and how they interact and how they enrich the experience that's i think the big focus here. and in the case of google news, which is our product, traditionally our role has been to increase diversity in news consumption by the context of any given story. the story allowing to get a range of views and orlingniesing that in a impact and efficient way. and initially the way that was implemented was completely based on observing the actions of publishers and what they found interesting. and. now, over time we started bringing in social signals, the actions of people in the
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network, the commentary that they provide and so forth. and most notably by integrating google platform which is our social network we almost exclusively derive from google plus allows you to comment on new stories in google news recommendations from friends, and we also have technological hang-ups which allow any group of people to host a panel such as this one on air without any sophisticated equipment. you can take out your laptops and have a conversation about something that's extremely current and broadcast over the world. so by lowering the bar on having these happen real time i think we are going to enter into a market of information that's being presented to people. >> the other end of the panel. how would you address that question? >> first i would say i
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fundamentally agree. it's not the platform, it's the audience. and also, all media is social media. the only media not social is media that no one consumes. i think social media platforms is different than social media and i think that's one of the things that we often get caught in we think of the platform is defining the interaction as opposed to the audience and the media defining the action. and i think that's, i'm sure we'll talk about this, we in the news media often think of the platform as a toole as a mechanism to do our job. and like in a lot of ways news media has been more comfortable in some ways with social media platforms because they haven't been disrupted yet. they haven't change it had way we need to do our job yet. they will and then we're probably not going to like them as much as today. but i think that the folks on
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the platform is really less interesting than the folks on the interaction and the focus on the way that the values that the audience brings to the consumption of media begin to overlap and layer and create something where the reason that they're consuming media and the way they're interacting and the way they want to distribute and shape it becomes the story as much as the narrative that we're trying to develop. >> so to some degree when you're talking about interacting with the audience interacting with yahoo or that's different from someone of our traditional journalism perspective. >> yes. but in some ways it's only because we can capture it. the interaction may not be different. we can track it. we know it. but yes also i think that the degree of signals that we can capture and pay attention to
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and allow to influence what we're doing is fundamentally different. but i do -- i mean, i think at some level we do have to think about what is the media consumption pattern and narrative that we're trying to enable and what is the narrative and the patton rp that the audience is looking for? i was talking with someone the other day about the eep that the from howard end which seems like every new media conference says just connect. there's another word in there which is live a life not fragmented. that is our challenge. >> a different view. i think that part of what is happening today is really about
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inevitable and steady move toward moveable and portable personal devices. i have a relationship with my phone but at some point i'll probably have that same relationship with a tablet and part of what's happening is that so much more information is now crowd sourced. photos, think about the plane landing in the hudson or a bombing. that's all because someone can send it on a mobile device. we are becoming always on, always net worked. so the platforms that have been the most successful have been the ones that have been the most accessible to people on mobile devices. i think we'll see a lot more investment from platforms to work on tablets and on mobile devices because this is where you're going. if you look at the and roid, i'm fascinated that now i'm going to an n.p.r. or "new york
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times" ap a web browser but it's set up as an ap so it's pulling me away from the web these little silos of content that are good for the provider. so i think we have to think about social media on the ultimate platform as really being something portable and personal. that is real little where we're going to see a real accelerateion as there's more broadband where people can send more digital media. >> moving to what, can elab ration the implication on that? mobilely sourcing and consuming information. >> well, i think there are two implications. one is that we can have greater immediacy. the other is greater risk of deception. there's a young man who was in oakland who was streaming every single occupy event and wasn't
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occupy. so one hand it was fascinating. to see the crowds of everything happening in these demonstrations. on the other hand, someone trying to present reliable accurate unbiased reporting. i couldn't take his information as fact and yet he was the dominant provider. so that's an i want resting position to be in. >> we're going to come back to this issue of veracity and vetting. what's your take on the what social media and how does it? >> to me social media is any platform, service, tool, whatever you would like to call it that net worked people together and gives them opportunities to engage each other, collaborate, and create. to one extent or another. i wouldn't consider traditional
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forms of media like tv or radio social in the sense that with the broadcast, a person doesn't have their own tower or satellite dish to immediately communicate back not only to the producer but everyone else watching or listening. the closest thing would be the next day when people got around the water cooler. that was the platform. we didn't -- there was nothing that afforded us the opportunity to have engagements after the fact let alone realtime engagement. so the term social media has been around five or six years. i think people love to make up new terms. before that people used web 2.0 a lot. before that people, like tim one of the earlier developers. go back to the 1970s when
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people were creating the first e-mail list or bulletin board systems they were very crude systems and they had a but if you went back and look at these things now, people that are engage with the tether, they are on a level playing field. sometimes things get created. there is a long history in tradition with social media existing within the internet space because the internet ultimately is about people who use it. >> help me understand. help us understand -- we were talking earlier about times when people would post newspapers on window fronts.
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what is different from that? what is the new platform that they could not use before? >> it is funny. some of the practices that we has been around for relatively long time. there was a four-page paper. only three pages out of the four had printed on them. the last one was blank. the reason for that was because the publisher knew that he could not create a circulation that would cover the entire city of boston. things happen over the course of the week. he realized people would leave a copy at the local public when they were done reading it. right there, and network journalism and crowdsourcing existed. i have a sneaky feeling he did not simply come up with that. look at the history of publishing in britain in the
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1600's, you would find other examples of that. the tools are different. the playing field is more global, obviously. it still took that opportunity to do that. but now, pretty much anyone who has internet access and moderate internet literacy to be a community organizer or a publisher, or even be a consumer. or watch a cat video. >> not that there is anything with a cat videos. >> some of these distinctions between who does what activity, those distinctions are starting to disappear. it used to be that publishers and consumers, and that was it.
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now we have a middle layer. there is the ability to look at a lot of information and say, that is interesting. that is not come in. everyone does everything. in other words -- that has now come in. everyone does everything. everyone can contribute on all of these different by mentions. even publishers. twitter reacting -- they are reacting to what audiences are saying. every one is adding to the conversation. here is what i am confused about. what is interesting to me is how the presence of is two different roles has created a certain dynamic. 50 years ago, it is to be, just
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read it. now there is a conversation of high-qualified people talking. their influences are helping the conversation to proceed. it is a completely different mindset. >> the other thing is, the ubiquitousness of it. in boston in the 17th century -- the conversation was all lame including people who couldn't read or were in the area -- the conversation was only including people who could read or who were in the area. the kennedys that build up
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communities -- that uniti that build up independent could trade back-. it is about the people. it is about the audience and what they are doing their. >> one atop the feedback, we really need to be talking about many feedback groups -- when we talk about feedback, we really need to be talking about the back groups. produce the stories. stick it online. we will have comments right below that. there is a back in one sense. it is not that different from letters to editors and other traditional forms of letting people know what you think. for social media, you have feedback occurring brought the
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entire process. a member of the public is creating something. it is a platform for mainstream media to share it. you're looking at many tiny loops in between. >> i remember when global news launched. there was an automated duration system. it was a radical. people debated whether it could be good or not. things like blogging has interrupted newspapers and publishers. the power of the press has been blot out. the editor of the curator is really displacing the editor. it is patching all of these comments back and forth. he was fascinated by this.
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people i know would put an incredible amount of energy into. in digital collections -- curating in to digital collections. it change the publishing model. we're having the role of the editor change where we do not look to the movie critic of the restaurant critic. we look at people the are varityper local. -- are very hyper vocal. all of these roles of owning control and information keep breaking. i love the fact that one of the fashion experts is a 17-year-old blogger. this woman was very young.
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that is a huge change that we now can look to as people are distributed all over the globe. they have this passion. to play well as a facilitator. >> it is interesting you mention this. on one hand, where to direct the resources available to the publisher? that is where all of this remains in the traditional sense. yet a lot of responsibility of conde news to the audience is not delegated to the power at large. what editors do get is a mechanism and fighting its way to the network and getting to the enthuses who care about it.
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they are channeling this dgem to the kind of community who cares about it. the publisher should only polish ublish. there is an application at a news website saying, help me navigate. tell me what is happening. there are 5000 other publishers. there are news sources like google news. that publisher, beyond doing their own content, can help directed to other website bans.
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>> some publishers are finding that it and nail. sky news announce a new social media policy. if you work for sky news, do not write news over twitter. did not talk to competitors. there are all kinds of restrictions. it goes against twitter culture. they could not use twitter as a tool. neil resigned in protest. he could not do his job any more because he was not able to engage people. pay were so concerned about keeping the content focused on them that it completely ignore the reality of how everyone is sharing everything right now. we are all learning from each other because of it. >> another way to look at that is the incredible popularity and values people have in posting.
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a committee invites comments. we do crowdsourcing of stories through social media. we have about 40% of our content from community contributors. we invite them to publish. we can distribute that content through got good news and partnerships. we can give them a broader distribution-and just in your own network. we are very much an amplifier of an interesting conversation we find. that is the wave of the future. >> for media companies, there is something important here to go into. where do you find that value? the value is in the brand.
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the the brand is representative. the value is in the connectivity with your audience and that degree to which you can engage your audience 24/7. that is a fundamental shift in the business proposition and how you think of building value of around your brand. >> in addition to do in visual journalism, you can do positive things. >> what i think it does is that you challenge it. if you think your brand is a publication, a consumable entity, then you get led down this road. >> let's focus a little bit on social of social media, media platforms as a reporting tool.
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how did your coverage of the arab spring started? i remember you said you were not sure it would go. we can talk about others as well. >> a big part of my job at mpr was -- they did the space to experiment with tools and techniques. there was a collaboration with the public. i worked with our reporters. i chose to expand upon that. i have been on twitter for just over five years. there was a presidential debates and i was able to collect reports on voting problems and the like. i was very comfortable with interacting with people on twitter to get information i knew nothing about. because of work i had done previously, i happen to know a handful of bloggers.
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i have met some in person. others were living in exile because of their governments. i would not say i was close with any of them, but we kept in touch. i watched what they're doing on twitter and their blogs. i started seeing them use a certain hash tag. i thought they meant a tourist town. as i read a couple of the messages, i realize that they're talking about this town in the middle of nowhere in south central tunisia. a young man had set himself on fire to protest is card being taken away from him. people came out in solidarity and in the support of his act. some people recorded video on
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the camera phones and managed to get it on youtube. there are bloggers i got to know who curated everything they were fighting. they would put it on facebook, any network they could find to completely overwhelmed the tunisian authorities. they would block youtube, but not necessarily others. 2 million people were ready on facebook. the conversation began on twitter, but it quickly spread like wild fire on facebook. having been too timid and have experience with the police, i was -- having been to tunisia and have the expense with the --lice, i was very
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it is funny. after the revolution happened, i have a colleague, visit. we got together. she said, thank you for everything you did to help cover our revolution. next time, let us in on the revolution. that was not until the final days of the revolution that the media took it seriously. no one paid attention to it. -- tunisia. for people who were not an area with it, some people thought it was where "star wars" was filmed. i've got to the point where my twitter followers essentially became my newsroom. rather than being in a studio with producers left and right and and our peace talking to me
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and giving it the latest info, a pundit here and an eyewitness here, i was sitting on the park bench and having all the mighty are followers collecting the info for me. i could fact check and a bunch of other things. >> journalism is now easier than ever. >> it is also rather old-school. the basic principles that are the kinds of things that i think any reporter are some instead in journalism for the first time, it makes sense to them. if i only have one source on twitter, that is not good enough. but if i have 10 people on the ground all saying that they're getting shot at, that is more likely to be a story. when you pick apart the methods that i use, it is really
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grounded and very traditional reporting methods. >> i love the fact that there was a colonel of a community. >> all right. it was a global community. it formed at the initial tegerm. >> online to amenities were reacting to disasters, such as the tsunami and the haiti earthquake. there are people in different parts of the world who call on each other. you combine that to people who want to volunteer and help each other with a certain subset of them being political activists in their home countries. it played some type of role. i hate it when people say these are social media revelations. people have to die first these to set seed in some places. -- some people have to die for
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these to succeed in these places. >> andy was doing this from miles away and you are on the ground. i have heard to talk before about the value of crowdsourcing and the pitfalls. is there a new kind of editing or curating that it needs to be done to make sure that what your do is the honorable and credible? >> absolutely. we made a decision -- a man was shot. there was a trial.
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we found ourselves in the middle of covering this. if i was covering occupy oakland. for us, up we have always thrived upon professional reporters on our team to help validate what has happened. whether it was the demonstrations or the child or it was occupied oakland, we never relied only on the crowd to validate info for us. we have maintained a news room. we had people coming off of the event a few blocks away. we applauded content. we deliver the photos. the fact that we are able to combine all of that with the kind of info from the crowd has given our coverage a diversity
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that other coverage has not been able to get. we are very particular about what is not in a socially as fact. like, this is what is being said in the crowd. we try to stay away from anything that we do not know is a fact. people see us as a credible resources. the mainstream media takes in respective line and people get angry and say things about stealing. we are in the middle. we want to be a credible research. we have a lot of boots on the ground. we think that a reflection is important.
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when a community event is over, we are very vigilant about making sure that people who want to write op-ed or who are wrecking statements have the option to share their work. we will be posted that on facebook. there are huge digital divide issues and underserved communities of color who do not get their voices heard. people know how to use facebook. they are very good with facebook. they have done incredible work on facebook and. we are very appreciable of all of the people on facebook. they have really helped push their content web to people outside of their immediate community to get a feel for what someone was thinking and feeling. >> @ yahoo! news, how do you wrestle with this use of social media? >> you look at it in a couple of
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different ways. when it is social media as a tool. it is a primary warning system. you are looking at its velocity. you are looking at what is taking off. what has gone from 0 to 60 in minutes. it is a tool to let us note ,hey, we should start paying attention to this. we can do that in real-time. the other is looking at how you begin to look at multiple different social media platforms. i am not going to say that we have done that in a way that i find unsatisfactory. that is the other interesting thing we are struggling with. how do you tell a story out of all of this?
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how you create a dynamic narrative? not just i will take a bunch of tweets and stick it in my story and then i am done. that is the thing we're really looking to try to capture around a major event. >> you mention professional journalism. in a time when the social media platforms are becoming more ubiquitous and powerful, what does [inaudible] >> there are 15 people who work on a free-lance besbasis. we do not have a full-time staff.
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we train both our professional journalists to affirm the portents to us and we train the many contributors that we have. these people like to write or have a certain topic that they are passionate about. we have standards. we sit down and talk to them about the idea of being thorough and accurate. we may not believe in other activity, but we believe in but thoroughness and accuracy and transparency. the fact that we have these kind of guidelines, but also have professional standards sets us apart from grass-roots media. we are trying to provide community voices with a higher standard of telling a story that needs to be told. people have really appreciated that. it is something that we have never gotten any negative
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feedback from anyone who has worked with us. >> in my first job in newspapers years ago, my editor was a great editor. told me something i have never forgotten the above-remember there are hundreds of people who will read your story and no more things about your story than you do. our job is not to know everything, but find as much as you can and convey it in the irresponsible, accurate, and timely way. and brace that -- embrace that every story we work on, there are millions of people who know more about it than we do. our job is to find ways to connect those people with our audience. >> one other point i will make. oakland local puts an emphasis on working with people who live in oakland.
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we do not have reporters from suburbs. we prefer to janitors who lived in that area. -- we prefer contributers who live in that area. our staff has a much more deeper understanding of history and the potential problems and issues. they are able to bring back to the story. what you're talking about is totally right. it and bring knowledge and respect and a sense of sensitivity. there is no us and them. it is all of us. >> as many of us in the valley and have often talked about, there is talk about technology
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that is amazingly night. there is a hundred people in the mile radius who can no much more about this -- know much more about this. it requires organizing and curating. there is also another big function. sometimes you have to put in weeks of work to produce something. that will not be taken away by social media. social media is taking away the stuff that you have to do because no one else is doing it. but you are now coming to instead of you having to go out and get it. kellogg and journalists to focus on something that is even more
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-- allowing journalists to focus on something that is even more interesting. >> we are in the department of communication that has a department of journalism. imagine you are the director of the journalism program. you need to think of one or two things that every journalism student needs to know about curating and using social media platforms. i will start with you. >> do they have the ability to become a community organizer? if you are going to interact with people on my to improve your journalism, you have to be prepared to serve as a master of ceremonies. you have to bring to the other people as a host. you have to relinquish some of the power initially and
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facilitating a conversation with everyone to create the journalism you are striving for. most people can be taught how to take highlights from a different topic and tweets and call that curating. but it should be more nuanced than that. if you want to do this well, you want to tap directly into your communities subject matter, expertise, and the culture, etc. i would not have been able to do i have been doing in the past if it were not for the people on twitter who know more than i ever could if i stated it for the rest of my life. >> i am try to imagine when i was a young reporter. i need to become a community organizer. it was a huge paradigm shift.
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you work in a news organization -- it is pretty established. how does the community organizing a that go over it? >> part of my job is to experiment. having said that, more and more reporters at npr are expanding their space within the social media world. how did they find people and cultivate sources? they talk to each other. some of our reporters interact on twitter to find leads. how many talking heads do we see every single day on tv or whatever medium because we're comfortable with our rolodex?
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we do not have to fall back on the same set of people. the more diverse your sourcing is, the better your reporting will be as well. i see that happening with our reporters all the time. they do not have to have a national article written on what they have done. it is routine and they're reporting to talk to their twitter and facebook followers. >> that is a wonderful way to think of a community organizer. it ended the vet as developing your sources. the difference is that -- you can think of it as developing your sources. a differethe difference is thatf your sources know each other. it is hard to get 10-year olds and not to build up your story. that is difficult journalism. building a network of sources is
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the way that we build our sources. there were times when developing sources meant you went to the bar where the cops went after work and you bought them drinks. that is not the only way. >> i also thing for young journalist today is that some things have changed. i really believe in the value of research in reported stories. there is investigative reporting. when i see people trying to copy the voice of a newspaper, i shake my head. if you are writing for real people that you need to connect with, ddb authentic. you need to have an accessible boy -- you need to be authentic.
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it need to have an accessible voice. i really appreciate that. bloggers have become per powerful. there is a town that journalists take like when press releases are given. it is about finding a balance with your voice and the research. try not to play a role. that is over. we do not want that anymore. we mistrusts people who do that. sources like "the times" are
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greatly admired because of the work that they do. >> i would say, if you are writing for a local the main, tried to make sense in that local domain. do not underestimate what your audience wants. part of that is also going further and telling the individuals by creating an experience tt is compelling and immersive. did not be afraid of technology. -- do not be afraid of technology. the role that you play, besides creating that wonderful experience, is that you are the
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guide. you are walking with that person through this and helping them experience it in a way that works for them. that is what we try to do. this is the experience you want to create. we also want to create a regional reporting a could be used worldwide -- original reporting that could be used worldwide. focus on your strengths. figure out smart ways to extract information appropriately. try to find a good market for what you are introducing.
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part designer, part businessman. >> it is really important not to sacrifice part of your humanity for the sake of sounding more professional. unfortunately, as some reporters or journalists in general become more successful, the more distant the scene in their communities. it can be very hard to relate to people who have become very successful and see their world in an elite way now. where as -- there is so much to social media that is about authenticity. i go out of my way to talk about journalism and what is going on in the news on my twitter account. i also talked about my kids' having the flu and throwing up on my computer. these things happen. part of this is to remind people that i am not a robot that sends
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out tweets. it reinforces relationships with people. people talk about what they have for lunch. it is a form of social brigroom. you are investing in each other's relationships. it may not seem important at the time, but when things hit the fan, they have your back. i still talk to people even if things are slow. if they ask a question that has nothing to do with my job that i know the answer to, i take the time to answer it. >> there is a distinction or understanding that there is a conflict between that.
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the flip side to that is the ease with which you move from authentic to a journalist affirmation. if you think, i am writing a certain voice for a audience, it becomes a tunnel vision for journalism. that is the bad side of what is a good development in news. our voice should be authentic and accessible. the voice should still be in a journalistic voice. you should present the full story as opposed to we will tell you what you want to hear or what you know you'll get from us day in and out. >> i think the traditional news
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is all about conflict. to cover crimes and people doing bad things. the kind of is that makes you and able to sleep -- unable to sleep. conflict models were considered news until recently. i think of the news as being stores of discovery. things that need to be brought to light and talked about. it can be an expose. people like to have news that does not necessarily affect the conflict model. there are other ways to provide news. people consume that information. >> we will open it up to the audience. please make your way to the
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microphone if you would like to ask a question. andy, tell us a story. >> don't give away too much. [laughter] there are been all sorts of crazy stories that have happened over the last year, particularly with the arabs bring. one had to do with a blogger who is based in damascus. she moved there a few months before the revolution started. when it began, she became an incredible voice for what was going on the ground. news organizations began interviewing her. she became a bit of a celebrity in that world. one day in june, there was a
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blog has said she had been kidnapped. people started to mobilize. they were creating a facebook pages. some organized a protest in front of certain embassies. as this was our think, is very interested in finding people who know her well to get a sense of how much danger she might be in. as i started asking around, i started getting private messages from syria. i then heard from other people. it person i would contact with pass me on to someone else. i got to the point online where i was saying, does anyone know anyone else who has met her in person? those did not pan out. it finally got to the point where i contacted a reporter at
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the guardian of who had interviewed her in person. what can you tell me about this person? what they told me was that the two of them had skyped for a few days. they agreed to meet in person at a cafe. if one of them did not show up at a certain time, they would understand that one of them have been compromised and they would regroup later. the blogger sent a photo. the reporter showed up, but she was not there. she went back and contacted her. i wasogger siadaid, followed. let's drop the whole thing. the reporter said, that is ok. i think i have enough background story. i will file the story.
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the interview said that the interview was given any person. all of a sudden, a woman livign ng in the u.k. surfaced. she said, why the hell is this blogger using my photograph? it was stolen off her facebook account. it became a mad dash of what was going on. some people said that she had covered her tracks very well. some said that she was able. there were others who said that it was a hoax. but she had been online for years.
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reporters kept digging and digging. there looking through tax and property records. after a week of this, a couple of bloggers decided they found out what it was. it was an american living in scotland, attending grants will. he said it was not him. essentially, we were able to look through some of hiswife' 's photos that matched the photos the gay girl character had sent online. that person never knew she was a guy. he finally confessed that the whole thing was a hoax.
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he wanted to have more authentic conversations. why he is his character from st. traight to gay, that that is all another thing. [laughter] >> quickly identify yourself. >> hello. pleasure to meet you. if it was true what you said about social media leading to an expansion of investigative journalism and long-term projects, i did not see that happening anywhere. please give me an example. i agree that reporters using twitter and facebook to find leads is phenomenal. i was around when that started. i found people are using that. i did that in saudi arabia.
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when i look collectively at a social media, i think it is an era of noise. i worry deeply in about presentation. i am not sure that if we as a society is better informed and smarter about issues because of this phenomenon. i think there is still a role and a need for places like the new york times, which was repeatedly bashed today. more importantly, knowing the difference between a trained, well-reported article and a blog post by someone who does not have that kind of training. i welcome feedback on that. >> for the record, i feel the exact opposite. social media will not replace investigated journalism. with that said, i do think it is
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a way to find sources and data online. it could and for journalism. i completely agree won -- >> of course there will continue to be a role for professional and journalists on the field doing hardcore reporting. plenty of people say that we will then should get rid of reporters on the ground. why to people assume that? why can this be complementary to the reporting that already exists? no one is trying to destroy any one of's jobs -- anyone's jobs. the bigger issue of people not being able to tell the difference between professional
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journalism and what other people are posting, that is not my fault. that is a failure of media literacy in society. it is important that more people are involved in the news. this is a trend that has been going on for well over a generation. i would like to think that there are certain aspects of media that can help correct parts of it. i have seen the twitter followers as a form of checks and balances. there are always went to be idiots who claim that george clooney has tried again. -- died again. i do not worry about the noise. it is not about info overload. it is about philtre failure. once you get used to knowing what to ignore and who is a better source, things will come into focus. this takes practice.
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it is a different form of literacy. most people will not necessarily get it over night. we need to spend some time thinking about the implications of all of this. >> i do not think it is important to make assumptions about privilege. when it comes to fantastic organizations, i think it has been heavily representative of people middle class and above. i am concerned that social media has given a greater variety of voices. i completely agree with you. i would hate to give all of the power back to mainstream media organizations. a lot of people i want to hear from, i would not hear from any more. >> the web that i would look at it is -- way i would look at it is, it is fair to ask that
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question. i would say it has made it worst. the challenge for us in the media is not to say how can we build more walls and dome the gate. our challenge is to say, that is the world our audience is living in. how do we use it? it is frustrating sometimes. there is a tendency in media, articulate in certain parts of media, to say, we do not like how this is changing. how then we turn it back to what we are comfortable with? as opposed to saying, it is really about what they are doing and how they are engaging.
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our job is to engage them. we need to provide them with information. that is what we are doing. we are being professional journalists, and not newspaper reporters or broadcast reporters. as we began to fixating on the message that we knew when we started the job -- >> i am not disagreeing with you. the rise of social media and news has come at the same time that there is a huge loss of professional journalism jobs. in many states. i think the reason why people were slow to catch on to major was because there were not many reporters on the ground.
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there is this off -- a false conception that social media will replace journalism. >> your it all the time. -- you hear it all the time. people do not separate journalism from the platforms of economics. they are very different things. the reality is that social media has become a part of our world. there are certain aspects of journalism and certain types of stores within deporting require engaging people in the public's fears. you cannot say that facebook and twitter and other spaces are not part of the public sphere. i spent time on twitter because that is where some of my sources happen to be. i do the same thing on facebook and youtube and elsewhere. if i am able to meet them in person, i am thrilled. but i do not have the resources
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and to travel on a regular basis. when the fighting in libya started, not of us were allowed in the country for the first few weeks. it took a while before we were able to make it in. it was then our job to figure out what was accurate and peace it altogether. there will always be times when we cannot be where we want to be. i just wish we could have a more nuanced conversation about how this works rather than assuming that if everything is black and white and social media is good or bad, it is much more complicated than that. >> and things happen at the same time. >> what really happened is that the internet to go with the monopoly that media companies had developing the-delivering,
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as to the doorstep. people could take it or leave it. now when you put news out -- social media is allowing correction for problems. >> please direct your question to wind person. >> i am a freelance workera journalist. part of what we have been asking them out this panel is, what is a professional journalist? what is a professional journalist role? i think the goal of objectivity should always be paramount.
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it is an elusive goal. it is something that cannot be fully achieved. if we do not turn our professionals to at least try to be objective, to try to use their ability as filters of this new social media in an objective ways, we are doomed. part of what i am asking is, do you really mean to throw the baby out with the water? is objectivity yesteryear? should and does beat providing analysts from this point of view? what do you mean that of activity needs to be e-book? >> that is a good question. i -- needs to evolve? >> that is a good question. i completely agree. as a media person, and it is
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connected with the pitcher is important as a reflection of my values and my interests. of all of us have an agenda. an important thing is for us to be transparent about what that is. it of activity in. it is -- teach objectivity. it is essential. i am trying to be objective. >> i think there is a fallacy that every component of the news media has to be objective for the consumer. sometimes the best arguments are made by people who passionately feel that one side of the argument is correct. that is fine. you did not listen to them directly. you can listen to sound as listed many sides of the --
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who has listed many sides of the argument. the are some so-called objective reporting. we know it can be either way. the responsibility of the person reporting the news is to guide you to that. social media plays that role. there are people there who have a reputation. they looked at many strong advocates and say, here are my preferences. it is creating an opportunity for people who want to gain respect by providing objective viewpoints. >> there is a difference which and objectivity and balance. i am sorry, but balance in
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everything is a phony. would dodd-frank have prevented the j.p. morgan crater? either yes or now. -- no. that in my mind is lazy reporting. authenticity and objectivity do not need to be mutually exclusive. phony balance, where you >> hi. i am deb peterson. i have a common first and also a question. i in agree with and the. -- i agree with andy. i caution because i think the
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conversation does need to be a little more nuanced when we're talking about traditional media. i invite any of you to come to our news room and you won't recognize what it is compared to, say, two years ago. you know, we are on pinterest, we tweet, we're on facebook, tweet deck is running all day. we have a community engagement team, our news media in the morning starts digitally with the web site. so it's a different news room than it used to be and many news rooms are so it's not really kind of a -- i don't think it's as much a black and white conversation -- and it's very difficult to not talk about it in black and white terms. and you guys, it's great to hear you bringing all this up. our problem continues to be to monetize. so i would ask the tech company reps to give us some ideas for that. i would love to see next year that to be the topic. thank you. >> we'll let will and krishna
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answer that. i'm a tech guy, but i'm an editor. as i keep getting lectured, i'm just a call center. >> oh! >> but no, i think that -- i think the one thing, and maybe krishna can provide better insight here, but at least for us, it is still fundamentally about the audience. and whenever someone sort of it looking for a silver bullet that, ooh, isn't this the new thing that's going to final by basically turn on this mythical ad spigot connected to a new platform, it's almost never there. and i think ha we found is in fact there's like a million silver b.b.'s and it's finding the way you can monetize what we have always done, which is providing advertisers a way to connect with and access the audience and doing it in either
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as targeted and therefore high cpm or mass and therefore lower cpm as possible. as far as i have seen and hopefully there are smarter ad guys at i can't ooh han they, there is no silver bullet, no new magical monetization that's going to come down the pike tomorrow. >> so i agree with will. i agree with will. if there were a silver bullet we'd have seen it by now. we cannot change fundamentally when monday ol -- monopolies disappear so we've got to figure out what it's going to be that will pay the salaries of people who do substantial journalism. part of that is to walk away from the idea that everybody
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covers the same thing. so if finally the publications that will succeed, and unfortunately for the ones that are going to actually focus on building something that is unique, has unique value and that causes people to prefer them over other options. that's one thing. secondly the experience is what is going to get monetized. it's not the individual units of reporting. we all understand that. that requires innovation. again, not everybody is going to succeed. the companies that are going to succeed are the ones who are going to have the best experience. where people say the only options available to me are i will use this service, it's something that exposes the entire world of news to me in a manner that works for me, that adepths to me, that knows my interests.
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so here's where embracing the opportunity that the open web provides, that social media provides and at the same time trying to rise above the competition in terms of experience is going to allow to you command that massive audience that's going to help you pay your journalists. but i think there's going to be efficiencies that technology brings in in terms of how much it costs to do the reporting. there are example of the kind of equipment you need to buy to do journalism in the field. well, that's rapidly becoming cheaper. that's one example. and the technology being applied on the other side in monetization, making it more, you know, lucrative by not necessarily tethering the ads to the article in question, are you going to make the ad that because it's about iraq or about what the user is likely to buy at this point? so being smarter about the way
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you make money and being efficient in the way you actually use your money to do journalism i think is going to drive down costs and increase revenue but ultimately it's the most innovative company that's going to succeed. there is a lot of innovation going on right now and i am hopeful some will try and distinguish themselves. >> i want to say while i think it's great for people to use social media and social media tools, using the toolss isn't going to make you successful with this new generation of business models. in oakland there are a lot of people that we would like to collaborate with who would really like to see us disappear because they see us as a theat so i'm kind of cynical about news entities that don't link out, don't have partnerships, yet talk about how they're the next generation. npr and the atlantic are woth -- both fabulous examples of
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organizations that have reinvented themselves, started as legacy media but have really linked out, partnered, really been very open to supporting new entities. there is a lot of lip service from newspaper companies. they want to be community drinken but none of them has ever offered to do anything that would be beneficiary to us. that has to change. they have to walk the talk all the way. going halfway is nice. not enough. >> i'm john grakin. i'm not a reporter, i'm not a journalist. i'm an ex-engineer who has been accused of having fortran as his native language. i'm not able to direct this to any single person the if i did,
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which i don't, tweet and plog and manage to get more than any own family to listen to what i am tweeting and plogging, can i declare myself to be a journalist and veil myself with the protections that have evolved over law protecting journalists and their sources? >> um why don't you, you probably have the most experience with the issue. >> there is a man who -- a woman who lost a very expensive lawsuit because the court ruled she was a blogger, not a journalist. so this is a very painful, controversial area. there are no universally held standards. people have the power to publish, to take product endorsements, to do things they may think are professional but may not meet the standards of journalism. we worry about this all the
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time. we have insurance, libel insurance, and at oakland local we vet everything that isn't published as a community voices piece. there are things that can go up on the site that are just people's opinions. they have to follow terms of vfer guidelines around no slander, but i think you're raising a great point. it's a complete gray area, right? this is an area where we don't really have a set model yet. >> free speech can have conflicts with legal requirements, right? >> to get to krishna's point from earlier, it's a continuum and that's the challenging part. it's not just a gray area. it's that there are so many points along the continuum that, you know, at what point does the legal opinion stand? add what -- at what point on the continuum? and how do you measure in each individual case where someone
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is on that continuum. i don't think it's any clearer. >> my sense of it is that there is a move from side to -- trying to decide who is a journalist, which is a personal status sort of question, to who is doing journalism, and protecting the act of doing journalism as opposed to the individual. but it is a very murky area of the law right now for all the reasons we've been talking about, who is a journalist? who is a professional? and so on. so we'll have to solve that one for next year's symposium. we're going to have to wrap up and i'm going to ask each of the participants to give us a quick to middling idea of what happens next in this realm of the impact of social media on the news. crashe -- krishna, i'll start with you once again. ? i think i

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